Sunday, April 28, 2013

a list of updates

My last post was written in response to the Boston Marathon explosions, and before that, I said that I would post about my spring break experience in the Kalahari. To save you guys some time, this is what’s going to happen—I’ll now post about a general, “what’s-been-going-on-in-my-life-in-Africa” entry, and I’ll write up a separate Kalahari entry at another time this week. Again, I apologize for my lack of motivation. I’d make up an excuse as to why I haven’t been blogging/posting pictures, but as you may already know, I’m even too lazy to do that!

I’ll sum up the past couple of weeks for ya’ll in list form! Yay, lists!
Let’s start off with what we’ve been doing for VCE:
  • “My Home.” For this theme, we explained the different rooms in a house to the children, but also told them that people live in many different types of housing (tents, mansions, etc.). Then we had them tell us what you do in the rooms. One of the girls in my group brought in toothbrushes and little toothpastes (her dad is a dentist) for the kids and we also taught them how to brush their teeth. As an art project, we had them create houses using little balls of tissue paper and glue.
  • “Safety.” This week, we taught the kids about safety while inside, playing outside, riding a bike, and crossing the street. We first went outside on a pretend street (drawn on the ground with chalk) and taught them how to obey streetlights and look both ways before crossing. Then, we actually took them out to the street in front of the school and they crossed it by themselves…with our supervision of course. It was really exciting for both us and the kids, because there were actually cars driving by that we had to look out for, so it was a nice, real-life lesson for them!
  • “My Family.” This past Friday, we talked to the kids about our families and how every family is different (our classroom could even be considered a family). We showed them our home countries—USA, Germany, and Norway—and our friends and family at home, as well as what we do at home (for birthdays, holidays, etc…).

While we’re on the subject of VCE, we only have two Fridays left with the kids. Termination is hard, and I feel like this will be especially difficult. We’ve gotten so comfortable with the kids and we’ll have to leave them for good soon. It’s gonna be sad. But it’s all part of the process.

Other fun excursion-y things:                 
  • This past Thursday, we went with ISOS to hike Lion’s Head Mountain. It’s the mountain on the right of Table Mountain. It was a full moon that night, so we started hiking up as the sun was setting. The hike took about an hour each way; it was so worth it when we got to the top. The city of Cape Town lit up is absolutely beautiful. Have a look!
  • Yesterday (Saturday), we went to the South African Wine & Cheese Festival. Basically you pay a flat fee and also pay for a wine glass and you can sample wines and cheeses from hundreds (at least I think it was hundreds) of vendors and even buy the full-size if you liked it. It was a hot, beautiful day and everyone was sitting outside sharing bottles of wine with friends. It was overall a really fun day!
  • Today (Sunday), I woke up early with my AIFS group to go to Robben Island. We took a ferry out of Cape Town to the island, and then took a bus tour around it. The staff members who work for the museum live on the island; we also learned that there is a 0% crime rate! Nice, right? Robben Island is well-known for its prison, where Nelson Mandela stayed for 13 of his 27 years. It was also where many other black and coloured politicians served their sentences. As we toured the prison, a former prisoner—who also gave us his first-hand experience—guided us. It was crazy how just 20something years ago, people inhabited the area as criminals.
Nelson Mandela's prison cell

I’ve also somewhat neglected the fact that studying abroad requires studying…oh, yeah! So as much as I’ll be trying to keep this blog going, you should know that I’ll be diligently (or not) working on my final exams. But seriously, I have to do work here…?

‘Til next time,

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